Wednesday, August 08, 2007

And That's That

So Barry Bonds now holds the career home run record. I felt positively nothing. No sadness, no excitement, nothing. In fact, I fell asleep and woke up a few minutes after the record-breaker. Then I went out to the DVR and watched it.

Then I went to bed.

I'm not immune to the magnitude of the moment. As I would with any other big moment, I looked around to find the various play-by-play calls and have come up with four of them so far:

- ESPN TV - Dave O'Brien was at the mic for the moment and I thought his call was precisely as it should be. He didn't overdo the excitement but reported it accurately and then bowed out to let the crowd do the rest.
- KNBR Radio (Giants flagship) - Jon Miller got the honor. Miller has become a target due to his work on Sunday Night Baseball with Joe Morgan on ESPN. But Miller is still a great radio announcer at heart. I know Miller is a student of Vin Scully, but his call was a bit of a downer in that he never pulled back to let the crowd do the rest. He continued to describe the scene, which is of course his job.
- Fox Sports Bay Area (Giants TV) - Former big-leaguer Duane Kuiper called it and did so with a lot of passion yet didn't lose his head. Kuiper has called many of Bonds' home runs so he felt a deeper connection and you can hear it in his voice.
- WTWP Radio (Nationals flagship) - Charlie Slowes called it on the Nationals' radio network. For the out-of-town broadcaster, Slowes recognized his place in history but still called it as passionately as if he was working for the Giants. A very good call.

So who's was best? I'd take anyone of them (I have yet to hear the Nationals TV call) to be honest with you. It was like a buffet, with a lot to like in each case. Now my concern is about posting them and violating copyright laws. Since the moment is so fresh, I'm not sure that would be cool. If anyone has any thoughts, or wants to host the audio, let me know. Oh, and if anybody finds any other calls, pass them along.

I'll spare you any other comments about the record, except to say that I question Hank Aaron's video tribute, but perhaps guilt got the best of him. He had been pretty consistent in that he wasn't going to make a big deal about Bonds passing him. He wasn't going to travel to the games or anything like that. Yet he felt compelled to record a video tribute. They loved it in San Francisco while others have been somewhat critical. Personally I'm confused.

As for those who are so strong in their belief that Bonds is the greatest player ever? Puh-leeze. I'm not sure he even makes my all-time team - sorry. Is he better than Ruth? Laughable. Cobb? Nope. Would you take him over Aaron, or DiMaggio, or Mantle (in his prime), or Mays, or Williams? I'm just throwing outfielders out at you.

Whatever - it's over. A-Rod, you're now officially on the clock.

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